Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cooking With Kitten: Gateau de Minuit

As promised, here is the recipe for the cake I baked for brunch yesterday.

The real title of this recipe is "Brown Sugar Pound Cake." However, it got its new name since I baked it at midnight two nights ago. It sounds much more interesting than its original name.

This recipe originally came from the cookbook Moosewood Celebrates, one of the latest volumes from the Moosewood Collective (and you know how much I lurve them). It's a neat little cookbook filled with menus and recipe ideas for holidays all throughout the year.

Pound cakes got their name because, traditionally, they required a pound of each ingredient: a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of flour, etc. While this particular recipe doesn't require a pound of each ingredient, it does use higher amounts than what you may be used to for a modern pound cake.

So here's the recipe (taken from pages 374-375 of Moosewood Celebrates):

  • 2 cups butter, at room temperature (that's 4 sticks)
  • 3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 cups unbleached white pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup milk or heavy cream


  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk or water


  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch bundt pan and dust it with flour.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy. In a separate bowl, stir together the baking powder and flour. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk. Beat until well blended, another minute or two.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 75 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. The cake should be golden brown, firm, and pulling slightly away from the pan.

While the cake bakes, prepare the glaze and topping. In a small bowl, mix all of the glaze ingredients together until smooth. In a cup, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg for the topping and set aside.

When the cake is done, cool upright on a rack for 10 minutes and then invert onto a serving plate, leaving the baking pan in place for another 10 minutes before removing it. Then apply the glaze and topping while the cake is still warm. Using a pastry brush, quickly coat the surface of the cake with the glaze and immediately sprinkle the topping on the moist glaze. Carefully tip the cake a bit while sprinkling, so that sugar will adhere to the sides as well as the top.

It's very, very delicious!

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